As I write this, here in the UK it is half term, and whilst our children are getting a well earned break from school work, parents all over the country are (mostly) breathing a sigh of relief as they’ve survived a term in their new-found role as teachers. The opportunity to keep our children safe at home is, of course, a privilege, but at times it has also been incredibly tough. Supporting our little people’s emotional wellbeing and nurturing their education in such uncertain times with very little preparation has certainly been an experience and so half term has been welcomed with very open arms! One of the highlights of our springtime home learning has been outdoor crafting and projects, and with the weather on our side (thank you sunshine!), I thought I would share some of our favourite nature inspired half term activities which can be done outside, around the garden table or out on a walk, with things you either already have, or can find with relative ease.
MILK BOTTLE BIRD FEEDERS
It’s always nice to repurpose things usually destined for the recycling bin and milk bottle bird feeders are a great little activity which, aside from the cut outs, can be created almost entirely independently by children. They can use markers to decorate the milk bottle however their imagination wishes (we used Sharpies so the finished feeder can be left outside in the rain) before pouring in the bird feed and stringing up. Adults, we suggest cutting the door with a stanley knife far out of reach of little hands.
A great activity for almost any age, the nature hunt can be as simple or complex as you like. I remember when my daughter was two taking an egg carton to a nature reserve and collecting anything that took her fancy, whereas now she’s older it has become more of a challenge to find what’s on her pre-written list. I particularly love the rainbow nature hunt created by @ttder on Instagram which encourages children to search out natural treasures by colour.
Creating a bug hotel became a real adventure in our house! Pine cones were foraged on our woodland walk, old paintbrushes were discovered in usually unopened shed drawers, broken bits of old plant pots utilised and our neighbour kindly shared some no longer used bamboo canes over the garden wall. The best bit about a bug hotel is you can repurpose almost any container, from plant pots to crates and once all the little bits and bobs are gathered together everything can be put in place by little hands. Our five year old has been excitedly keeping a track of visitors to the hotel meaning it’s not a forgotten activity either.
I’d love to know if you try any of these nature inspired half term activities with your children, please do share your pictures with us on Instagram! This week we're going to experiment with pressed flower fairy wings and flower crowns inspired by our fabric Liberty fabrics.